Hoarding and assorted neuroses

21:58, Jun 19 2014
Pat Veltkamp Smith
Columnist Pat Veltkamp Smith was Southland Times women's editor until 1997 and is a former president of the Southland Justices of the Peace Association.

You know when you're at an event these wintry nights when a guy gets up, coughs into the mike, and says "ah . . ."?

You know he is going to say there's a yellow Bedford truck out there left its lights on and battery going down and blocking the driveway so whose ever it is better get out and shift it.

And straight away you think now did I come in a yellow et al but then thankfully someone else gets the message and you can relax and remember you came in a small red nana car parked carefully a block back so as not to get in anyone's way.

But just for a minute you think about the yellow pick-up truck - and why, since you never had a truck much less a yellow one?

Perhaps it is a bit much, identifying with everything; a bit big-headed perhaps.

I think it something quite different, a natural guilt triggered by anything.


See, there are so many things being brought to our notice, like telly every night drawing attention to feet smells and leakiness and ordinary surfaces needing to be disinfected against germs and weight gains and developing upper body strength at the gym, and moisturising and deodorising and look at that lot with their dirty hoarded up houses only one step away from another lot too fat to get outta bed much less the house.

Those mad hoarders and their awful junk-filled homes with fed up neighbours and aggrieved family members who say we don't go round there any more.

And then the hoarders say they were cheap so I got four; and I don't want to get caught short again and so what? Am I hurting anyone?

My neighbour asked for something for the fundraiser sale.

I said help yourself and she did, choosing a lamp that was not in use. I asked what she thought it was worth.

She said $30 so I said I will give you the money, not the lamp. She said it was against the spirit of the thing: she wanted something to sell.

It went on like this. Take the money I said.

She thought me a hoarder albeit a generous one.

Maybe I am. I do like my stuff.

There's a fair bit of it too.

The Southland Times